Early Doors awoke this morning as giddy as a six-year-old on
Christmas day, and flung open its curtains.
Oh, who is ED kidding, it can't afford curtains. It flung
open the stapled-together sheets of A4 paper (acquired in a masterpiece of
white-collar crime) that hang down off the row of ring binders where once there
was a curtain rail.
It hoped to see blizzard conditions and huge mounds of white
powder worthy of a scene from Scarface.
It wanted snowdrifts so impenetrable that the only logical
outcome was a duvet day and a vague and entirely insincere promise to do some
work from home.
What did it get? Horrible, sideways rain, road closures
because of the odd stray puddle, and a huge traffic jam as London's decrepit transport
system ground to a halt in the face of the light smattering of milk floats and
curb-crawlers that make up the vast majority of road users at that time of the
Stupid global warming.
Had it been a couple of degrees colder, Early Doors could
have spent the day mooching about in its underpants watching Loose Women.
But oh no, mankind had to go and pump huge quantities of CO2
into the atmosphere, poison the seas, chop down the rainforests, club the
seals and refuse to recycle its newspapers just to spite the council and their
infernal surveillance bins.
As a direct result, Early Doors is sitting angrily at its
desk instead of walking in a winter wonderland.
True, it gets to spend the rest of the day leafing idly
through the Daily Star and sharing its infantile views on football with the world,
but come on - even feckless gits deserve some sympathy.
So forgive Early Doors if it doesn't feel much like
commenting on Carlos Tevez's hat-trick last night, or his shameless attempt to
claim an Aaron Mokoena own goal for himself.
For what does it matter who gets the final touch? If the
ball ends up in the onion bag, does it really matter who puts it there?
If Tevez feels like awarding himself three, four or even 10
goals, it really makes no difference at all.
ED was struck by this after Wayne Rooney's tap-in against Manchester City on Sunday.
'That's the kind of goal he needs to be scoring more of,'
chirped the Sky boys in unison, as though he needs to place a ball into an
empty net from point-blank range to prove his ability.
In a bizarre twist, conventional wisdom has it that the
scrappier the goal, the more valuable and worthy it is. The players who put
themselves in the mixer and see the ball bounce inadvertently in off their
backside are hailed as the true heroes - as opposed to the fancy dans and their
mazy dribbles, stepovers and wondergoals.
Well excuse ED if it sees greater merit when Rooney smashes
in a long-range piledriver or produces one of those sumptuous chips than when he
scores from a yard out.
Early Doors's great-aunt could have followed in Michael
Carrick's shot against City and she's been dead 20 years.
Could she have thundered in a 30-yard volley? Well, perhaps.
But she would have to have thought about it.
The knock on players like Rooney, Dennis Bergkamp,
Gianfranco Zola and anyone with a modicum of flair is that they are scorers of
great goals, not great goalscorers.
They lack the ruthless, goalhanging efficiency of a Shearer,
a Trezeguet or indeed an Inzaghi.
And you will never see Cristiano Ronaldo praised more highly than
when he thumps in a close-range header.
But surely the only measure of Rooney's effectiveness - or
anyone else's - is whether or not he helps his team win football matches, which
he surely does.
It is entirely irrelevant whether he, Park Ji-Sung, Manucho
or Arthur Albiston gets the final toe to the ball on its way into the net.
ED would venture that if a player is on hand to snaffle the
much-lauded poacher's finish, he probably played no part whatsoever in the
And as everybody knows, the players who manoeuvre the ball
to the striker's feet 18 inches from goal are more important than the glory-hunting
so-and-so who delivers the coup de grace.
- - -
QUOTE OF THE DAY: Manchester City - good enough for Robinho, not good enough for Klaas-Jan Huntelaar: "There
was enough interest in the summer but these weren't the clubs we had thought
City didn't meet the
criteria we wanted. Manchester
United? Maybe that would have been another story!"
CREDIT CRUNCH OF THE DAY: Portsmouth are having to 'slum it' two to a room in a
£65-a-night Holiday Inn ahead of tonight's UEFA Cup game against Wolfsburg
instead of visiting the palatial Ritz-Carlton, which is five times more
expensive. Yesterday the squad was delayed on the way to Germany after the airline they were
flying with went bust.
FOREIGN VIEW: The organisers of the Homeless World Cup have revealed one player is
missing and admit some competitors might seek asylum in Australia. Any
international event carried the risk of those involved being unwilling to
return home, tournament director Steven Persson said. He would not reveal the nationality of the player who was missing from the Melbourne event."The individual has not made contact for a couple of days, but he is an
adult and has a 21-day visa," he said. (AAP)
COMING UP: Let's
all stifle a yawn at the prospect of yet more UEFA Cup action. Portsmouth must win
in Germany - or at least nick the mini packets of biscuits from their hotel rooms
- while Aston Villa are at home to Zilina in a game of supreme irrelevance.